Green curry paste is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, using fresh chiles and lots of aromatic lemongrass, galangal, and shrimp paste. If you don’t want a super spicy curry paste, remove all the seeds from the chiles. Freeze any leftover curry paste in 2-tablespoon lumps – an ice cube tray is perfect!
- 8 small Thai bird chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
- 3 (6-inch) long, mild green chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner bulb from the bottom 4 inches, finely chopped
- 1 1/2-inch piece galangal or ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 Makrut lime leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (leaves, stems, and roots if attached)
- 1/2 tablespoon shrimp paste (or 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce)
- 1 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoons peanut or other mild-flavored vegetable oil
Make the curry paste
Using a large mortar and pestle or food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the oil and pound or process until coarsely puréed. Add the oil and pound or process until a fairly smooth paste forms. Use right away or freeze for up to 3 months.
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Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.